Today’s Headlines

  • Parking Expert Rachel Weinberger: Car-Sharing Change May Not Cut Driving (Transpo Nation)
  • Reformer Larry Hanley Takes the Helm of Amalgamated Transit Union (Labor Notes)
  • Brooklyn’s Next “Great Public Space” Reserves Right To Kick Out Groups of Four or More (Brooklyn Paper)
  • To Get Trucks Off Their Streets, Astoria Wants Them on the Grand Central Parkway (News)
  • Good Luck Getting Around Today: Rain Overwhelms Aging Infrastructure (City Room)
  • Internal Affairs Targets Ticket Writers in 12 Bronx Precincts (Post)
  • Gridlock Sam: Feds Need to OK L.A.’s 30/10 Transit Plan, Other Cities Need to Follow (PBS)
  • NJ Assembly Waters Down Anti-Sprawl Law (Star-Ledger)
  • Chris Christie Picks Former State AG to Run Port Authority Board (WSJ, Star-Ledger)
  • New Documentary Studies Rockland County’s “Megamall” and Sprawl (LoHud)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • vnm

    “Latent demand” . . . yada yada.

    OK, I admit it, I don’t really understand Rachel Weinberger’s argument about car sharing parking regs. Can someone dumb it down for me?

  • Jay

    Hopefully the Internal Affairs audit of parking tickets in the Bronx will result in corrective action for a problem we all know about – no tickets are ever issued for double-parking in the bike lane on the Grand Concourse, even though it happens two-to-a-block all day, every day!

  • Jay

    vnm,

    I voiced a concern to DCP while they were reviewing the car-sharing program. In effect, they are making it easier to get access to a car, and also slightly easier to park.

    Many of the people who will use a car share program would otherwise make their trip on transit or by bicycle (perhaps they would purchase a cargo bike, for example), or would have a different consumption pattern that didn’t require the trip (get groceries at the local store, instead of driving out to Costco). For this share of the usage, a car share program would increase driving.

    There are the other trips, of course. People who might have bought a car, who use car share instead, or maybe even a few who finally decide they can give up their car. But there is a problem here too; this frees up parking spaces.

    Because the number of parking spaces don’t get reduced, for every car that is eliminated by the car share program, there would now be a newly available parking space. There are plenty of people out there who have cars, but don’t use them for specific trips because they think parking will be too much of a nuisance. If the parking gets slightly better, a few more people will drive. They’ll end up filling all the parking spaces again.

    So the net result really could be more driving. People who weren’t driving at all would start, with the car share, and people who have cars could use them a little bit more because of the improved convenience.

    Hopefully this can be worked out for the best over the long-run, though. If car share programs become more popular and visible, it may provide more credibility for future zoning changes to come back and reduce the amount of parking.

  • PaulC

    That’s the problem with public space being offered on private lands.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I cannot fathom why anybody would have a problem with the solution,” said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, whose office has been flooded with complaints from residents and storeowners in the neighborhood over the years.”

    I don’t understand why this hasn’t already happened, as it was discussed and present in reports at City Planning 15 or more years ago. I had assumed that lowering the roadway would lead to huge flooding issues or other problems. If that isn’t the case, this should have been done years ago.

    From the Streetsblog perspective, this is an example of extreme favoritism toward private motor vehicles compared with freight movement and buses. Express buses from the north could use the Triboro — BQE — LIE — Midtown Tunnel as an alternative to local Manahattan streets, were it not for this detour and congestion.

  • Driver

    Larry, the Daily News article doesn’t accurately represent the current situation. In fact it gives the impression that no trucks are currently allowed on the parkway which is not the case. Since 2003 many trucks already use the Grand Central Pkwy to the BQE. Trucks with 3 or less axles and under 12’6″ can use the parkway and do not have to use the local streets. The local neighborhood received a great reduction in truck traffic (70% by one estimate) with this allowance, they could at least acknowledge it. From an engineering perspective, I don’t think the roadway needs to be changed to allow buses. I’m pretty certain the average bus is under 12’6″.

  • Woody

    Do I have this right? Buses are banned from the Grand Central Parkway — and that is why the M-60 from 125th St and the Triboro to LaGuardia seeks out every traffic light along the way? So the transit schlepp to the airport is slowed so we can pretend that the Grand Central traffic sewer in some way resembles a park?

    I’d repeal the ban on buses on parkways statewide, certainly citywide. Yes, move the Express buses to the Bronx off Central Park West, move the Bolt Bus from Columbus Avenue, get them all off our neighborhood streets and put them on the Henry Hudson Parkway to get out of town.

  • Many of the parkways have low bridges, but otherwise, all that’s required to allow buses on them is a rule change by the State DOT. Can Paterson please do that before Cuomo gets in?

  • Andrew

    The M60 doesn’t use the Grand Central because it makes stops along the way – most notably at the transfer point to the N train. I don’t think the lights on the service road add much to the travel time, at least in comparison to

    I think MTA buses have permits to travel on most of the parkways in the city. I believe the only parkway segments not available to MTA buses are the ones with low weight restrictions. The B1, B4, B9, and B36 travel on short sections of Ocean Parkway, the B83 travels on a section of the Belt Parkway, several Staten Island express buses use the FDR Drive, the M98 travels on the Harlem River Drive, and the Bx12 travels along the entire length of Pelham Parkway – so there’s obviously no outright ban on parkway use by buses.